"We're dressing in their locker room," Arians said after winning Coach of the Year honors Saturday night. "We can write it down today."
We can write down lots of things today without knowing whether they'll come true. Taking Arians' lead, I've played the 2015 season in my head and come up with the playoff field, plus a look at how a few intriguing teams could break through (I'm looking at you, Atlanta). Arians' Cardinals do not make the initial cut, but even if Arizona advances to the Super Bowl, the 49ers' locker room might not be available (neither the Seattle Seahawks nor the New England Patriots used the Cardinals' actual locker room for Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium).
These are early projections -- not necessarily predictions -- but we will write them down today regardless.
Who I like in the NFC
1. Seattle Seahawks: Expectations for Seattle will change if Marshawn Lynch walks away from the final year of his contract, but I still think the Seahawks would remain a playoff team and possibly even NFC West favorites. Their young defensive core is under contract, and they are set to welcome back three promising players from injuries in 22-year-old end Cassius Marsh, 23-year-old linebacker Kevin Pierre-Lewis and 23-year-old tackle Jordan Hill. Remember those names.